Columbia Health Launches Behavioral Health Pilot Initiative
In February 2018, Columbia Health launched a pilot Behavioral Health Initiative, placing a CPS psychologist in Medical Services for 8 hours a week, allowing providers to consult with a psychologist on cases or directly refer a student for follow up.
November 02, 2018
Nationwide, about half of all psychological issues first come to the attention of a health care practitioner in a medical setting. While Medical Services (MS) and Counseling Services (CPS) work closely together at Columbia Health, there are some students for whom a referral from their primary care provider to a psychologist may present a potential barrier to care.
In February 2018, Columbia Health launched a pilot Behavioral Health Initiative. A CPS psychologist was posted in Medical Services for 8 hours a week, allowing providers to consult with a psychologist on cases or directly refer a student they have seen for a medical appointment. This integration allows for a more holistic and integrated care environment, consistent with Medical Services and Columbia Health’s approach to care within a patient-centered medical home.
Initial results of the pilot are promising in opening a new path to care for students needing mental health support. In the first eight months of the pilot, 92% of students referred to Behavioral Health Providers had not previously been referred to CPS, consistent with a principal aim of the project—to promote the utilization of mental health services among students presenting in Medical Services.
Assessment of the pilot continues during Fall 2018 semester in order to properly track utilization and evaluate next steps.